Pensions and marital breakdowns: information for lawyers

Lawyers are often asked to advise clients about dividing a pension benefit between a plan member and a former spouse. Learn more about the information and documents we need to administer a pension following a relationship breakdown.

Plan rules changed January 1, 2022, which will affect the value of the pension. For most members, their Member’s Benefit Statement dated 2020 and later reflect these new rules for retirement dates after January 1, 2022.

For members who work in public safety, the Member’s Benefit Statement dated 2021 and later reflect the new rules.

Members can run updated estimates using the personalized pension estimator in My Account.

Estimate the value of the plan member’s pension

BC's Municipal Pension Plan is a defined benefit plan. This means pension benefits are calculated using a formula based on the member’s salary, their age at retirement and the number of years they were a plan member. The value of the pension benefit is not based on the contributions made to the plan.

If the plan member has not retired, you can use the following to help you estimate the value of the plan member’s future pension benefit:

  • The Person Profile provides a complete history of the member’s participation in the pension plan, such as years of service and salary. It also identifies periods of purchased service and whether the plan member has participated in any other pension plans administered by BC Pension Corporation. This information can be used by an actuary to determine the value of the pension asset. For the Municipal Pension Plan, where applicable to the member, the Person Profile will show a point-in-time view of the defined contribution component (special agreement component) of that plan. Note: the Person Profile does not show the commuted value amount of the pension, and plan member’s contributions with interest shown on this report do not represent the value of the pension.
  • The Member’s Benefit Statement is mailed each June to active members, who can also view it online by signing in to My Account. The statement is a snapshot of the member’s pension, showing pensionable earnings, pensionable service and contributory service. It also shows up to four estimates of the lifetime monthly pension benefit the member may receive if they continue to work as they have over the past year and retire on one of the dates shown.

If the plan member has retired, they can request a copy of their Person Profile from BC Pension Corporation and then send it along to their actuary. The Person Profile will contain information on the member's salary and service history. You can find the monthly pension benefit amount on their retired member annual pension statement, which is mailed out in January each year. This statement shows the selected pension option, any named beneficiaries, the amount of the monthly pension and information about cost-of-living adjustments and bridge benefits, if applicable.